Menu for a Japanese inspired summer dinner party?

My book group is reading Murakami and I'd like to prepare a Japanese inspired dinner. (It can be fusion and not completely traditional). It's bloody hot here so a light meal that doesn't require turning on the oven would be a plus. I'm also considering using the barbecue. I will probably make a run to little Tokyo, so all ingredients are possible. Any ideas?

  • Posted by: lloreen
  • September 7, 2014


Pegeen September 8, 2014
Bowls of edamame (Trader Joe's frozen are great)
Sam1148 September 8, 2014
Get the wholes ones. Those are much better. But some people do not know how to eat them. That they're supposed to kinda pop them out in their mouth and discard the shell.
For me being in the south..I just say "eat them like boiled peanuts in the shell"
Pegeen September 8, 2014
These okonomiyaki are delicious and would disappear in a minute. But they require frying. Maybe you have, or can borrow, an electric skillet? You could plug it in outside, on a heavy-duty utility extension cord (don't use a regular extension cord), and enlist someone to help fry the batches. They don't take long at all.
Sam1148 September 8, 2014
and here's my ASCII art for Chicken Yakatori. Cut your chicken in strips, cut your green onions to size of the strips. Line up the chicken strips and green onions like this: [|[|[|[|[|
Alternating chicken and green onion. Then work in TWO skewers like this:
=[|[|[|[|[|[= this makes them easy to turn on the grill and really holds the green onion flavor to chicken.
If you do shrimp you do this: =))))))=

You can make both those the night before ready for the grill the next day.
Get some Ponzu sauce and add a bit of ginger juice and lime juice for a dipping sauce for shrimp.
Pegeen September 8, 2014
Love the art (and the double skewer tip) !
Sam1148 September 8, 2014
Gomae. Chilled spinach with a seasame dressing. (Shhh Just get a bottle of the Kewpie brand). Use a sushi matte to make press the spinach into rolls. And slice them up dress them and decorate with sesame seeds.
Another good summer dish is Sunomono Salad: A vinagards salad with cucumber, wakame seaweed (fresh stuff if you can get it) and crab or octopus. You can make this overnight or a couple of hours before.

QueenSashy September 8, 2014
I love chawanmushi. It is a very refreshing dish -- you can make it ahead and keep in the fridge. Chef Anita Lo has a corn version in her book "Cooking without borders"
Susan W. September 7, 2014
How about homemade mochi for dessert? Two Red Bowls posted a recipe here on this site. If you look down at the comments, you will see a link to her blog where people had all kinds of flavor ideas. I know it's not the real thing, but I love the mochi at Trader Joe's. Making your own sounds easy and fun.
kimikoftokyo September 7, 2014
How about japanse street food? Or as mentioned, cold soba. Not to mention rice balls are very good as a great appetizer. I am having something similar and everyone is bringing their favorite asian dish. Hope all goes well.
Jo September 7, 2014
Chicken yakitori skewers will be perfect for the barbecue. Serve those along with chirazhi sushi - basically, deconstructed sushi - an excellent way to make and serve sushi for a crowd. If you and your guests are up for it, cold soba noodles are great for summer too, but it's an acquired taste. For dessert - perhaps buy some mochi, or pancakes filled with red bean filling, and serve with green tea ice cream.
lloreen September 7, 2014
Thanks Jo - I love soba and it's a great warm weather dish. I have to admit that despite having lived in Japan, I really don't like Japanese desserts....I'd love to find a fusion dessert without bean paste.
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